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Research Article Open Access
Tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) is sensitive to low temperature and highly susceptible to damage in chilling stress. To examine the responses of tea leaves to chilling stress, changes in protein expression were analyzed using a proteomic approach. One-year-old tea seedings were treated at 4°C for 24 h and then recovered for 24 h. By fractionation, approximate 1000 protein spots were separated and visualized on CBB-stained 2-D gels. A total of 10 protein spots were increased, 9 were decreased and 4 proteins were induced. MALDITOF/ TOF mass spectrometry analysis allowed the identification of 18 differentially expressed proteins, including well known and novel coldresponsive proteins. Proteins showed enhanced degradation during chilling stress, especially the photosynthetic proteins. The identified proteins are involved in several processes, such as signal transduction, transport, disease/defense, photosynthesis, and carbohydrate, energy, pyrimidine and nitrogen metabolisms. This study provides new insights into the complex molecular networks within tea leaves involved in the adaptation to chilling stress and stress signals.